May 2014 Archives

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking applications from individuals to serve as impartial hearing officers (IHOs) to conduct special education impartial due process hearings for students with disabilities, 3-21 years of age pursuant to section 200.1(x) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

To Apply:

Interested individuals should submit a letter of interest, completed application and resume no later than July 30, 2014 to:

New York State Education Department
P-12: Office of Special Education
89 Washington Avenue, 309 EB
Albany, NY 12234
Fax:  518 402-3583
Attention: Due Process Unit - Impartial Hearing Officer Search

Questions may be directed to Sharon Veltman at (518) 473-0170 or by email

Application for Impartial Hearing Officer Candidate word document (75 KB)

Please share as appropriate. Thank you.

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Confide--App Store on iTunes

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Confide is your off-the-record messenger.  They combine end-to-end encryption with disappearing and screenshot-proof messages to foster genuine, unfiltered, and efficient communication.

• Messages disappear forever once they're read
• Swiping prevents screenshots 
• Instantly send messages to any email address or phone number
• Messages you send are private and encrypted
Read receipts tell you when your message is read
• It's FREE

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The website will give the anonymous data to New York Attorney General Schneiderman, according to theagreement (PDF). Airbnb will turn over identifying information, however, for users who in the next year become a subject of investigation by the state. The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.), Business Insider,CNNMoney and Bloomberg have stories.


Read full ABA Journal article here.

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Word Lens on the App Store on iTunes

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Google purchased the product Word Lens for iOS,  which does visual translations, and is offering it for free for a limited time.

The software uses a smartphone camera to translate signs in real time into the users native language. The technology is remarkable and used by many world travelers. Previously, translation packs were available as in-app purchases, but Quest Visual has made all the packs and the app itself free for a limited time.

Hat Tip to Randy Singer, Esq.

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Shyp on the App Store on iTunes

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Shyp picks up your items, then packs and sends them anywhere in the world using the lowest cost, most reliable option. Shipping care packages, returns, and products you sell is a pain. Shyp takes the stress out of shipping everyday items for consumers and small businesses alike.  Shype charges US$5.00, plus the actual cost of shipping.

Shyp is currently available in San Francisco with more cities launching soon. 

Download the app.

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Mortgage Debt Forgiveness - YouTube

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YouTube: Mortgage Debt Forgiveness

Taxpayers may not need to report forgiven mortgage debt as income on their tax returns. Get more information by watching this new YouTube video.

Watch this and other videos on the IRS YouTube Channel

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Review: iExit -- Interstate exit information on your iPhone - iPhone J.D.

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Jeff Richardson:

The app works best when you are on the Interstate.  Obviously, if you are the driver, you need to pay attention to the road so this app works best when used by someone in the passenger seat.  Start the app and iExit figures out which Interstate you are on and which direction you are headed, and then it displays a list of the upcoming exits.  This main screen gives you lots of information such as the exit number, how far away you are from the exit, and an icons to indicate what is available at each exit.  As you get very close to an exit, it starts to fade away, and then when you pass that exit it disappears and the others move up -- animation that is both fun and useful.

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The NYS/ Federal Judicial Council is sponsoring a free CLE class in Manhattan and via webcast on Wednesday, May 21st, at 7:30pm. The topic of the CLE is:

Ethical Issues in Plea Bargaining: The Implications of  Missouri v. Frye and Lafler v. Cooper

Two NYS CLE credits in Ethics will be given. Registration is limited to 250, in person, attendees. Registration for this CLE is done via:

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Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule Update

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Several bankruptcy fees will increase on June 1, under amendments to the Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule that were approved in March by the Judicial Conference of the United States. The scheduled changes include:

  • A $57 increase to the adversary filing fee in bankruptcy proceedings, from $293 to $350. The new fee will be equivalent to civil filing fees in federal district courts.
  • A new, differentiated administrative fee structure will be assessed at filing in every bankruptcy case. Currently $46 in all cases, the administrative fee will be $75 for cases filed under Chapters 7, 12 and 13, and $550 for cases filed under Chapters 9, 11 and 15.

The Judicial Conference also approved separate administrative fees when married couples divide a bankruptcy filing into two cases, often because a divorce or separation occurs while a case is being adjudicated.

The schedule for the new rate structure, effective June 1, is available here. The existing schedule, valid through May 31, is available here.

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Emu on the App Store on iTunes

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Emu is texting with a built-in assistant. Schedule lunches, share your location, and set reminders -- as easily as sending a photo.

* Send live location: Don't just tell people where you are, show them! You can send your location right in a message, with live updates for thirty minutes.
* Snooze messages for later. Choose when and where you want your reminder -- when you get home, when you get to work, when you leave here, or first thing tomorrow.
* Finding a time to meet up? Emu checks the calendar for you.
* Restaurant reviews and reservations: Emu recognizes restaurant names in your messages and shows you reviews and availability. Book a table right from a text.
* Movie showtimes: Emu recognizes movies and theaters, and shows you everything you need to make that plan -- from trailers and ratings to showtimes near you.
* Push to talk: Hands full? Just press and hold anywhere, speak your message, and it sends!

Note: Emu uses your phone's GPS for its "Marco Polo" location sharing (30 minutes). Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.

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Title Insurance Agent Licensing-NYSTA

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New York had been one of three states that did not license or register title insurance agents. The NYSLTA has advocated for agent licensing for many years. In that time, we have drafted several pieces of legislation and lobbied both the legislature and the former Insurance Department.

The Administration Title Agent Licensing Bill of 2014
On January 21, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo presented his budget. The budget bill included a change to the Insurance Law to license title insurance agents.

This bill - designated S6357-D Part V / A8557-D Part V - was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Cuomo on April 1, 2014.

Click here to download S6357-D Part V/A8557-D Part V

Click here to download the NYSLTA Memorandum in Support of S6357-D Part V/A8557-D Part V

Click here to download the NYSLTA News Release on Title Agent Licensin

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Google must delete search results on request, rules EU court - CNET

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The best cloud backup service - The Sweet Setup

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The Sweet Setup:

Backing up your files to an off-site cloud server is an easy, affordable, and safe way to make sure that your most important files are safe. We've tested, used, and researched the most popular services and recommend Backblaze for most people. It's the easiest to set up and use, and it's also the most affordable.


Backblaze is our recommended cloud backup service for most people. However, it wasn't an easy pick.

Backblaze and CrashPlan are both best-of-breed cloud backup services. They both offer more or less the same service for nearly the same price.

What we like best about Backblaze compared to CrashPlan is:

  • How easy and straightforward it is to get Backblaze set up.
  • Backblaze is just a little bit cheaper.
  • The Backblaze app is easier to understand.
  • Backblaze is, generally, less resource-intensive when running.

CrashPlan is slightly more expensive (by just a dollar or so per month) and also slightly more fiddly to get set up. However, CrashPlan offers several features that Backblaze does not. For one, CrashPlan lets you back up your Network Attached Storage drives. They also don't remove any data that you've backed up. If you have a lot of data stored on USB or network drives, you may want to consider CrashPlan instead.

Backblaze, on the other hand, only keeps a 30-day window of your files. This means that if you delete a document from your computer, Backblaze will mirror that change and in 30 days the file will also be removed from your cloud backup.

In short, we recommend Backblaze because we think everyone with a computer should have an off-site backup and Backblaze is not only the easiest to set up and use, it's also the least expensive.


The Sweet Setup then proceeds to do a feature-by-feature comparison of Backblaze and CrashPlan, with multiple screen shots and detailed how-to-do-it info.  Read it all here.

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ProBono | Northern District of New York | United States District Court

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Chief Judge Gary L. Sharpe announces the creation of a new section on the Northern District of New York's web page dedicated to honoring those bar members who have provided pro bono service to Northern District litigants who were unable to afford legal representation.  Unfortunately, these difficult economic times have increased the number of litigants attempting to pursue a cause of action pro se.  Without the public service of these dedicated professionals, the legal needs of the underprivileged may have gone unfulfilled.

The pro bono honor roll can be accessed via the following link:

Members of the Northern District Bar are invited to consider volunteering for a pro bono assignment.  The typical assignment takes place after all discovery and dispositive deadlines have passed and the case is about to proceed to trial.  While these cases can be challenging, they provide attorneys with a unique and invaluable trial experience which often pays dividends in the future.  If you would like to be considered for a pro bono assignment or have any questions about the Northern District's Local Rule requiring pro bono service, please feel free to contact Larry Baerman, Clerk of the Court, at 315-234-8516 and he will be glad to assist you.

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...the CFPB issued a consumer advisory to borrowers about how to release their co-signers from their loans. Many lenders advertise that a co-signer may be released from a private student loan after a certain number of consecutive, timely payments and a credit check to determine if the borrower is eligible to repay the loan on their own. But most student loan servicers do not tell consumers when they are eligible to release their co-signer, so consumers need to ask directly for information on how to do this.

To help borrowers release their co-signers, the CFPB has put together instructions that consumers can edit and send to their student loan servicer. They can download sample letters to send by mail, or they can just cut and paste the text when they log into their account on the servicer's website. Sample letters include those from the student who may want to release their co-signer, and those from the co-signer who may want to be released.

The advisory can be found at:

The sample letter on how a borrower can release a co-signer is at:

The sample letter on how to be released as a co-signer is at:

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act established an ombudsman for student loans within the CFPB to assist borrowers with student loan complaints. The ombudsman is submitting today's midyear report to the Director of the CFPB, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Education, and Congress.

The CFPB began accepting consumer complaints about private student loans in March 2012.

More information is at:


Read entire CFPB Report Here.


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Your client data is now at your fingertips no matter where you go, even without a mobile network! The Lawyer ON GO app for the iPad offers Customer, Event and Case Management features for busy legal professionals. Notes can be turned into invoices or estimates with just one tap. Ability to add reminders for all time sheets or tasks differentiates the App from others. Being able to immediately sync activities with the calendar sets the App apart. 

Less Typing & More Tapping offers immediate boost in productivity. Lawyer ON GO does not need internet connection & can be used effectively in remote areas of the world. The App can be used as All-In-One mobile office software or to compliment with an existing software by exporting CSV files from the App. Possibilities are unlimited when you create the templates to match your firm's needs. 

First 50 clients' records are free.  Over 50 requires $4.99 per month subscription.

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Understanding the Individual Shared Responsibility Provision--IRS

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More information is now available on to help you better understand the Individual Shared Responsibility Provision of the Affordable Care Act. Check the minimum essential coverage chart,exemption chart and basic examples of the payment calculation to learn more about this provision.

Our clients will report minimum essential coverage, report exemptions, or make any individual shared responsibility payment when they file their 2014 federal income tax return in 2015.

For the latest information about ACA tax provisions, visit and for information about health insurance coverage and financial assistance.

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Text-to-911: What you need to know (FAQ) - CNET

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Beginning May 15, wireless carriers in the US will uniformly and voluntarily support Text-to-911, a program that lets you send text messages to emergency services as an alternative to placing a phone call.

While carriers will climb on board, this just means they're making the service available -- the ability to text the police in an emergency situation won't work everywhere in the country the second May 15 rolls around. On the flipside, some counties have already embraced the program, usually working with a single carrier. Here are some important things to know about texting 911.

What is Text-to-911 and how does it work?
Text-to-911 is a free program for sending a text message addressed to "911" instead of placing a phone call. To use it, you address the message to 911 and enter the emergency in the body of the text, making sure that you also add your exact location -- or else emergency services won't be able to dispatch help your way.

Since it's all SMS-based, you will hear a response for more follow-up questions, or when help is on the way.

Read entire CNET FAQ's.

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Town of Greece v. Galloway

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The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department has teamed with Amazon Web Services and others, resulting in an Android and iOS app allowing eyewitnesses to upload footage to the authorities during emergencies. The system, known as the Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository (LEEDIR), is a police tip line on steroids.

"Did you witness the civil unrest during the Deltopia in Isla Vista? Please send us any photos or videos you may have captured to help us in our investigation and disaster response," the LEEDIR website reads. "You can submit photos and videos anonymously or provide additional information along with your submission. We are seeking to identify several subjects wanted for violent felonies that occurred during the evening."


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

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